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December 19, 2012

Making Health Care Reform WorkWhere Physician and Employer Interests Converge

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Harris Allen Group, Brookline, Massachusetts (Dr Allen); Northeast Business Group on Health, and Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Nobel); and Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois (Dr Burton).

JAMA. 2012;308(23):2465-2466. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.45428

Physicians and businesses share a common goal—to advance better health. Employers are finding that it makes business sense to promote workforce health and productivity, recently linked to $576 billion in costs due to medical and pharmaceutical use, lost productivity, and wage replacement.1 Many medium- and large-sized employers, motivated by their self-insured status and by responsibility for much of these costs, are investing in an ever-expanding array of initiatives for fostering the good health of the healthy and health improvements for those who have or are at risk for disease or other impairment.2 In addition, the therapeutic value of work and its beneficial effects on health and well-being are becoming clearer to physicians. The longer people are off work, the lower their chances of returning to work. Evidence is mounting that links long periods of unemployment to poor mental and physical health and increased use of health services.3

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